Lessons from Nature

Lesson from Nature: Two Paths


Look closely. There are two paths. I recently wrote a post, Choices are Not All Cut-and-Dried, about facing the pros and cons of two paths. Some choices are more obvious.

Following the well-worn path would have taken me into water and mud. The path to the right of the tree was on slightly higher ground. It was obviously not the established path. It was simply the way several people had tried to avoid the water that naturally flowed along the path after heavy rains. Because of the choices of people ahead of me, I had an option that seemed obvious to me…more obvious than it probably seemed to them. Their willingness to try something cleared the way for me.

Following others doesn’t always work out well, but sometimes, it does. I don’t even know who I was following. I don’t know how much time had passed since the first person took the alternate route. I don’t know how many people it took to wear the path in the grass. All I know is…I had an excellent option ahead of me because of them.

Had the path led me into a snake pit or bear’s den, over a cliff, or into the lake, the people before me wouldn’t have left me with a good option. Every option that looks good isn’t good. But this one worked out, and it made me consider,

What if someone is following every step I take? Am I establishing a trail I would want others to follow?

I’m not talking about creating safe trails for everyone, trails that eliminate every risk and adventure. In fact, we couldn’t, even if we tried. What I am suggesting is simply considering where we’re walking, not just for ourselves but for others. Shouldn’t we know how to choose a path well in order to lead well?

Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)